noun, often attributive
\ ˈstär How to pronounce star (audio) \

Definition of star

 (Entry 1 of 3)

1a : a natural luminous body visible in the sky especially at night
b : a self-luminous gaseous spheroidal celestial body of great mass which produces energy by means of nuclear fusion reactions
2a(1) : a planet or a configuration of the planets that is held in astrology to influence one's destiny or fortune usually used in plural
(2) : a waxing or waning fortune or fame her star was rising
b obsolete : destiny
3a : a conventional figure with five or more points that represents a star especially : asterisk
b : an often star-shaped ornament or medal worn as a badge of honor, authority, or rank or as the insignia of an order
c : one of a group of conventional stars used to place something in a scale of value
4 : something resembling a star was hit on the head and saw stars
5a : the principal member of a theatrical or operatic company who usually plays the chief roles
b : a highly publicized theatrical or motion-picture performer
c : an outstandingly talented performer a track star
d : a person who is preeminent in a particular field


starred; starring; stars

Definition of star (Entry 2 of 3)

1a intransitive : to play the most prominent or important role in a movie, play, etc. an actor currently starring in a hit Broadway show She had a starring role in his latest film.
b transitive : to feature (a performer) in the most prominent or important role a movie that stars a famous stage personality
2 intransitive : to perform outstandingly In the fall of 1925, Elkins starred on the gridiron …— Bil Gilbert [Alan] Trammell, who starred for the Tigers at shortstop during the glory days of the 1980s …— Jeff Bradley
3 transitive
a : to mark with a star as being superior or preeminent in some way a monument starred in the guidebook a starred review
b : to mark with an asterisk
4 transitive : to sprinkle or adorn with or as if with stars … meadows starred with buttercups and daisies.— Kenneth Roberts

Definition of star (Entry 3 of 3)

1 : of, relating to, or being a star received star billing
2 : of outstanding excellence : preeminent a star athlete

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Other Words from star


starless \ ˈstär-​ləs How to pronounce starless (audio) \ adjective
starlike \ ˈstär-​ˌlīk How to pronounce starlike (audio) \ adjective

Synonyms for star

Synonyms: Noun

Synonyms: Adjective

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Examples of star in a Sentence

Noun They gazed up at the stars. There are billions of stars in the universe. I'm glad we didn't use the tent. It's so much nicer to sleep outside under the stars. The restaurant was awarded four stars for excellence. Critics give the movie three stars. Verb The new television series stars a famous movie actress. a concert starring some of the biggest names in the business He starred in both baseball and football when he was in college. She starred for the basketball team last year. This restaurant is starred in the guidebook. Adjective looking for star actors to play the leads
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Dion Jordan, the former Oregon Ducks’ star and former first-round pick, was with the Las Vegas Raiders during the 2019 season. oregonlive, "New Orleans Saints’ Cameron Jordan pushes for team to sign former Oregon Duck Dion Jordan," 23 Mar. 2020 When these teams met in Denver in October, Gonzaga’s star senior Killian Tillie was on the bench, recovering from knee surgery. Ryan Ford, Detroit Free Press, "The 2020 NCAA tournament that could have been: Michigan State bound for Atlanta?," 22 Mar. 2020 To keep herself occupied, the talk show star has been posting more videos on Instagram, including recording phone calls to her famous friends like Jennifer Aniston. Amy Mackelden, Harper's BAZAAR, "Ellen DeGeneres Just Asked Jennifer Aniston for Self-Isolation Advice," 21 Mar. 2020 If that happens, many Hollywood stars could be at risk of being deprived of expected profits from movies and television shows. Eriq Gardner, The Hollywood Reporter, "Hollywood's Creatives Suffer Blow in Appeal Over Weinstein Co.'s Bankruptcy Sale," 20 Mar. 2020 Moore’s parents were there, but the star was his 13-year-old son, Jerell. Jeff Potrykus, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "UW players and coaches gave fans remarkable moments in a season sadly cut short," 20 Mar. 2020 Growing up out west means that there are always places to hike and the stars are so much brighter. Craig Hlavaty, Houston Chronicle, "Uniquely Texas rites of passage for all little Texans," 20 Mar. 2020 But TikTok stars and Hype House members Charli D'Amelio and Chase Hudson (aka Lil Huddy) have actually only been ~official~ for less than two months. Yerin Kim, Seventeen, "A Complete Timeline of Charli D'Amelio and Lil Huddy's Relationship," 20 Mar. 2020 The two met nearly 10 years ago when the Scandal star was acting on Broadway. Kayla Keegan, Good Housekeeping, "Kerry Washington Spills the Actual Reason She Doesn't Talk About Her Husband Nnamdi Asomugha," 19 Mar. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb While helping her family get supplies and frequently comforting her mom, a healthcare worker who stared at the ugly face of a pandemic on the reservation, Antonio had problems of her own. Katelyn Reinhart, azcentral, "A pandemic, injury and unreliable internet are 3 of the obstacles a Navajo woman cleared to earn 3 degrees from ASU," 16 May 2020 The season 2 finale featured Ethan Hawke, who starred in the original film, making his return to the franchise. Tyler Aquilina,, "The Purge and Treadstone canceled at USA," 14 May 2020 And with so much of our time spent staring at screens and collecting exacting (and punishing) data, paring the game back to its essential elements can be refreshing. Popular Science, "Golf gear for people who like to putter around the house," 14 May 2020 Last year, Doris Day, the sunny blonde actress and singer who starred in comedic roles opposite Rock Hudson and Cary Grant in the 1950s and 1960s, died at her California home at the age of 97., "This day in history," 13 May 2020 Closed-Door Matches CVC is separately considering buying a minority stake in Italy’s top soccer league, home to star players like Cristiano Ronaldo and Zlatan Ibrahimovic, people with knowledge of the matter said earlier this week. Jan-henrik Foerster,, "Buyout Giant CVC Eyes Soccer Deals From Germany to France," 13 May 2020 When Cable tried to complete the digital forms, an error message stared at him from his browser. Franklin Foer, The Atlantic, "The 2016 Election Was Just a Dry Run," 11 May 2020 Hoult, who co-starred in The Favourite, plays a more familiar figure — a young man who, save for his genuine delight and skill in cunnilingus, would have made for a bro-rrific frat president three centuries later. Inkoo Kang, The Hollywood Reporter, "'The Great': TV Review," 1 May 2020 Scott, who starred for Jason Krause during his prep career, was a three-time first-team Greater Miami Conference selection for the Indians and made special mention All-Ohio in 2016. Shelby Dermer,, "Fairfield High School product Josiah Scott drafted by Jacksonville Jaguars," 25 Apr. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective Musicians, comedians, and actors all lent their talents to create an all-star lineup — including The Rolling Stones, Sam Smith, and John Legend — as they were joined by global health experts throughout the performances. Sarah Midkiff,, "Taylor Swift Just Did Something She Thought She Would Never Do — For A Great Cause," 20 Apr. 2020 Scottie went on to become an NBA Hall of Famer and was named to the NBA all-star team seven times and was awarded the game’s MVP in 1994. Robyn Merrett,, "Larsa Pippen Defends Ex Scottie Pippen After The Last Dance Highlights His Chicago Bulls Contract," 20 Apr. 2020 The White House’s Office of Science and Technology is organizing an all-star team of supercomputing to help find treatments for COVID-19. Adam Lashinsky, Fortune, "How one San Francisco startup bought $1.4 million worth of masks and other supplies," 23 Mar. 2020 An all-star lineup including dancers, aerialists and an emcee will perform during a 21-and-up burlesque show at Arlington Music Hall. Dallas News, "Things to do in Arlington: Chris Stapleton concert at new ballpark, ‘Bachelor’ finale watch party and more," 5 Mar. 2020 The Tigers’ ranking slipped with back to back losses at Missouri and Georgia, but Auburn played those games without star freshman wing Isaac Okoro, who returned to the court for Tuesday’s win over Ole Miss. Jon Hale, The Courier-Journal, "What's at stake for Kentucky basketball in a key SEC game against Auburn? A title and more," 28 Feb. 2020 The first album by this all-star female group, consisting of Morris, Brandi Carlile (who co-produced Tucker's album), Natalie Hemby and Amanda Shires, was released on Sept. 6, a week after the cut-off for eligibility for this year's Grammys. Paul Grein, Billboard, "Will Miranda Lambert Keep Her ACM Awards Album of the Year Winning Streak Alive?," 11 Feb. 2020 To make matters worse, the film lacked star appeal, at least as far as the studios were concerned. Trilby Beresford, The Hollywood Reporter, "When My Dad Won Best Picture: 'Driving Miss Daisy' Director and Daughter Reflect on the (Still Controversial) Movie, 30 Years Later," 4 Feb. 2020 This is not an official Oscars gift bag, but is sure is extravagantly star-worthy. Michelle Santiago Cortés,, "The Unofficial Oscars Gift Bags Are Valued At Six Figures Each," 3 Feb. 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'star.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of star


before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a


1592, in the meaning defined at sense 3


before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for star


Middle English sterre, from Old English steorra; akin to Old High German sterno star, Latin stella, Greek astēr, astron

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Time Traveler for star

Time Traveler

The first known use of star was before the 12th century

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Statistics for star

Cite this Entry

“Star.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 7 Jun. 2020.

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More Definitions for star


How to pronounce star (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of star

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: any one of the objects in space that are made of burning gas and that look like points of light in the night sky
: a star or planet especially in a certain position that is believed in astrology to influence people's lives
: something (such as a symbol or medal) with five or more points that represents or suggests a star



English Language Learners Definition of star (Entry 2 of 2)

: to play the most important role in a movie, play, etc.
: to have (someone) as the most important performer
: to perform extremely well


\ ˈstär How to pronounce star (audio) \

Kids Definition of star

 (Entry 1 of 3)

1 : any of the heavenly bodies except planets which are visible at night and look like fixed points of light
2 : a figure or object with five or more points that represents or suggests a star in the sky
3 : a very talented or popular performer a movie star
4 : a planet that is believed in astrology to influence someone's life She was born under a lucky star.
5 : the principal member of a theater or opera company


starred; starring

Kids Definition of star (Entry 2 of 3)

1 : to mark with a star or an asterisk as being special or very good
2 : to present in the role of a star The show stars my favorite actor.
3 : to play the most important role She will star in a new play.
4 : to perform in an outstanding manner She starred in soccer this season.

Kids Definition of star (Entry 3 of 3)

1 : being favored or very popular the teacher's star pupil a star athlete
2 : being of outstanding excellence a star chef

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More from Merriam-Webster on star

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for star

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with star

Spanish Central: Translation of star

Nglish: Translation of star for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of star for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about star

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